When is each course offered?

To see when individual courses are offered, visit the Class Schedule.


Chris Boykin
Be loud.

Chris Boykin,
Comm Class of 2008
Minor: Theater
Current: DePaul University, Chicago
MFA Acting 2011



COMM 202. Fundamentals of Speech (3 hours)

A required course for all students with focus upon the skills of sending and receiving clear messages. Audience analysis, the organization of the message, listening awareness, and the management of communication apprehension are foremost among the course objectives. Students participate in communication exercises and deliver a variety of speeches of different formats.

COMM 203. Communication & New Media (3 hours)

While we live in the self-proclaimed age of information, communication, digital media and technology, these phenomena are not always defined, described or discussed in theoretical terms or treated in an academic context. Communication and new media is a course that examines mediation and technology and seeks to bridge theory and practice by using digital media to discuss information-age questions. The course is designed to survey the field and provide students with an introduction to many facets of communication and media production from boardroom presentations to digital videography and internet-communication.

COMM 222. Voice and Diction (3 hours)

This course is designed to improve speaking thorough the understanding and application of principles for proper breathing techniques, projection, articulation, inflection, and pronunciation. Through readings in dramatic literature, poetic and prose, as well as the application of theories in vocal production, the course improves voice quality as it develops the student's reading and speaking abilities.

COMM 302. Narrative Screenwriting (3 hours)

This course is designed to educate students in the technical and aesthetic practices of fictional narrative screenwriting.  Students will become proficient in the analysis of dramatic structure and synthesis of methods and ideas into original student short scripts. Students will learn to develop ideas into stories, to professionally compose a screenplay, and finally, to present creative work favorably to potential producers and contacts through compelling spec scripts, "pitches" and other methods of professional communication.  Assessment of progress will be evaluated by active participation in class discussions, written analysis of professional screenplays and feedback of classmates’ work, mastery of story development process (logline, character development, pitching, treatments), and script and revisions.

COMM 304. History of Film (3 hours)

Historical and critical survey of the development of motion pictures as an industry, art form and a distinctive medium of mass communication.

COMM 305. History of TV (3 hours)

Historical and critical survey of U.S. television as an industry, mass medium, and cultural form.

COMM 326. Radio Practicum (3 hours)

A course in which students work with the campus radio station, WSHC-FM, staff to produce our broadcast schedule for airwave and internet broadcasting. May be taken three times.

COMM 329. Sound Design (3 hours)

Sound provides the depth to "visual" media such as film and television.  Sound Design is a course in aural communication and audio production for web, radio, television, theater and cinema.  The course examines how sounds communicate ideas, context, and emotion, and students learn how to record and edit voice, music and sound effects.

COMM 331 Intercollegiate Forensics (2 hours)

A course which insists that competition accelerates rhetorical competencies in debate and individual events. In the former, students compete against teams from other colleges by debating topics which have been chosen at the national level. In the latter, students display their understanding of literary texts as well as current events by competing against other students in faculty-judged circumstances. In both debate and individual events, overnight travel is likely and the course may be repeated.

COMM 333 Music Video (3 hours)

This course outlines the history, significance, and impact of music video as a commercial commodity and aesthetic style. Music video constitutes a style of videography whose presence can be traced across the contemporary scene. It is a form of vide</a>o (and cultural) production whose surface of sights and sounds, imagery and music has transformed and reorganized the limits of television and music, film and video, advertising and fashion. We will discuss the cultural impact of music videos and popular culture, and engage in music video production as a form of "writing" and inscribing experience.

COMM 343. Graphic Novel (3 hours)

Once the domain of sticky-fingered kids clutching nickels and dimes, comics have grown up and are establishing themselves as a fast-growing and respected literary genre. Students enrolled in The Graphic Novel will explore this cultural phenomenon by analyzing works like Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan. Students will also write and design their own graphic novels . And contrary to common belief, you don't have to draw to create. Even non-artists can produce compelling content using imaging and animation software provided in class.

COMM 344. Game Design (3 hours)

This course focuses on the structure/ theory of game design, and the analysis of games' role in modern society. Using readings, playing of games and in-class exercises students will explore what makes meaningful play. Rule systems, game culture and history will be covered. Students will learn game design by creating their own games. No programming knowledge is needed for this class.

COMM 345. Animation and Communication (3 hours)

Computer-generated animation has become standard fare in TV, film, advertising, forensics/court-room reenactment, education/training, gaming, web design and on-line media.  This course explores the history and craft of computer animation via animation production with an emphasis on the discourses of animation as art and entertainment.  Topics include Key-framing, story-telling, story-boarding, lighting, compositing, movie-making as well as working with motion capture, particle effects, dynamic simulation and sound design.

COMM 346 Motion Graphics (3 hours)

In today's digital environment, savvy communicators exploit the synergy of the written word in combination with sound and the moving image. This course will focus on the study and creation of motion graphics in fine art, film and advertising. How do motion graphics differ from other modes of communication? How does the introduction of text affect audience experience? While seeking answers to questions like these, students will explore groundbreaking work by visionaries like Saul Bass while learning software that allows them to express their own messages in a professional manner.

COMM 348 News Practicum (3 hours)

Students learn and radio and television journalism and news production by preparing news for Shepherd University media outlets such as WSHC-FM.  May be taken three times.

COMM 349 Media Practicum (3 hours)

Students assist with the development and organization of the Department of Communication’s media resources and facilities.  May be taken three times.

COMM 350 Single Camera Production (3 hours)

A course in video production that investigates the theory and practice of single camera projects such as the news piece, the documentary, the teleplay, the commercial, the music video, the industrial video, and the public relations video.

COMM 352. Computer-Mediated Communication (3 hours)

This course focuses on the study, practice, and criticism of computer-mediated communication. Students will develop projects using a variety of digital technologies, focusing primarily on the Web. The course is designed to teach students to effectively use these technologies, to study the impact on society, and to think critically about that impact.

COMM 354 Experimental Video (3 hours)

Introduction to experimental theory and production practices that radically challenge dominant conventions of representing the body, sexuality, spirituality, gender, family, race, class, language, politics and power in film and video.  Students will learn about alternative media by viewing a mix of classic and contemporary work, reading essays that interpret, theorize on, and give the history of this form and, most importantly, students will create video productions that utilize experimental production aesthetics and techniques.  Assessment of progress will be evaluated by active participation in class discussions, theoretical response journals, and three short video productions (including treatments, scripts, storyboards and log sheets, as well as group and instructor evaluation of productions) .

COMM 360 Studio Production (3 hours)

Overview of the functioning of the studio production system, production equipment, and the functions of production personnel.

COMM 392 Cooperative Education in Communications (1-6 Hours)

A capstone course involving all that the student has learned during enrollment in the program. Working through the Office of Cooperative Education and coordinating plans with the communications faculty, the student engages in an intensive co-op with an appropriate agency. Prerequisite: COMM 202 and COMM 203 and written approval from the Department of Communications.

COMM 400 Media Law and Ethics (3 hours)

Examination of legal and ethical issues in the media. Emphasis on freedom of the press, censorship, libel, privacy, information access, copyright, media regulation and ethical standards.

COMM 402 Seminar in Communications (3 hours)

A senior year alternative to COMM 450, this course focuses upon topics faculty believe are of interest to those who intend to continue advanced study in the field. Topics for the seminar are announced during early registration.

COMM 403 Media Studies (3 hours)

A course that investigates the significance of contemporary media, cultural ideals, beliefs, and values. The course considers the significance and impact of media on our experience of self, community, culture, society, and world. The course will engage students in the critical practices of reading, decoding, and interpreting cultural texts and practices.

COMM 406 Advertising and Imagery (3 hours)

This course explores the significance and influence of advertising, public relations, and public opinion on contemporary culture . The history, institutional practice, and aesthetics of advertising, public relations, and public opinion will be studied. The course will consider the social, political, cultural, and personal dimensions of interpreting advertising, public relations, and public opinion.  

COMM 420 Advanced Production (3 hours)

Advanced principles and practice of short film production including digital cinematography, sound, lighting, and editing. Prerequisite:  COMM 350

COMM 435 Media Research (3 hours)

A course designed to provide students with a foundation in mass media research. The course will introduce students to a variety of methods including, but not limited to, content analysis, survey (with emphasis on demographic and ratings research), in-depth interview, and focus groups.

COMM 447 Advanced Internet Media (3 hours)

This course expands on the study, practice, and criticism of computer-mediated communication. Students will build upon skills developed in COMM 352, advancing their knowledge of Internet-based technologies. Prerequisite: COMM 352

COMM 450 Internship in Communication (3 hours)

A capstone course in experiential learning. The student engages in writing a resume, interviewing, and participating in an intensive internship, externship, or cooperative with an appropriate agency. Students may elect to intern in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Washington Gateway program. Prerequisites: COMM 202, COMM 203, and written approval from the Department of Communications. May be repeated once.

COMM 461 Senior Capstone (3 hours)

A required course for all communication seniors that brings together communication theory and practical experience into a final project and presentation. Original projects may include, but are not limited to, videos, audio tapes, papers, web pages, and multimedia presentations.  Projects will be presented before the communications faculty and students. Two faculty members, selected by the student, will serve as advisors for the project. The course will serve as a final assessment of communications skills. This course is to be offered in the spring semester; students are expected to register in their last year of study.